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After a weekend trip with friends had to be cancelled, one…

Second opinion] Good morning...

Second opinion] Good morning! After a weekend trip with friends had to be cancelled, one of the friends invited those of us who were going on this trip to come to her home for dinner. We were each going to take a part of the meal and cook it together at her home. When our trip was cancelled, we invited out of state friends to come for the weekend. I told our hostess that we had weekend guests and she graciously invited them to come as well. Before accepting, I queried our houseguests to see if they wanted to do that and they responded that it sounded like fun. Later that day, our hostess told me the menu and gave me my assigned dish. It is an entirely Thai meal. When I relayed the menu to our houseguests, she responded that they would get together with mutual friends so that we could enjoy our evening without them tagging along. I'm sure the Thai menu is the problem. What do I do???

Expert's Assistant: The Etiquette Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else the Etiquette Expert should be aware of?

I don't think so, except that it's short notice. Our guests arrive tomorrow and the cook-together dinner is tomorrow night. The houseguests were going to contact mutual friends to go to dinner tomorrow night, but I was planning to invite them to dinner with our houseguests anyway on one of the nights our friends are visiting.

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Answered in 11 minutes by:
10/27/2017
Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
Category: Etiquette
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I am August Abbott, formally trained x12 yrs private school:international protocols, etiquette. Please allow a few mins. to compose your response.

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Certainly this is a dilemma, but the good news is that your houseguests' abrupt bowing out does not reflect negatively on anyone but themselves.

It might be the menu that is off-putting to them, but it could also be that they feel awkward or uncomfortable in an unfamiliar group that is participating on what one might feel is an intimate gathering. Since everyone cooking knows everyone else it makes for a fun time to be had by all.

What would your houseguests do there? Sit and watch? Having not likely participated in such an event, especially among folks they are not on the same relationship level as you are, they understandably aren't comfortable diving in with group cooking.

Let them have their day to themselves and explain to your group that your guests send their apologies, but have remembered another engagement they meant to keep. Simple, gracious and almost true.

Then enjoy your little break from having to 'entertain' visitors, even if it's not that much of a chore.

And thank you for requesting me - it's always a pleasure !

Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
Category: Etiquette
Satisfied Customers: 7,855
Experience: 40 yrs: Etiquette teacher,Formal event officiate, announcement author, minister
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you so much. Everything you've said makes sense. When our trip was cancelled, our group had talked about getting together for dinner, but no date was mentioned. We invited our houseguests for the weekend before the dinner date was set. Since they were invited first, I feel it is rude of us to not entertain them for the entire weekend. They will be going out to a restaurant with our mutual friends and paying for their own meal. All of the persons involved, including the mutual friends of our houseguests, are dear friends. I just don't want to hurt any feelings or damage any wonderful relationships. Thank you.

I'm sorry to have missed your reply earlier. Let me reassure you that you are anything but rude. I understand you're wanting to make this the perfect weekend for them and by giving them the freedom to make their own choice as you have is doing just that. There is no reason anyone's feelings should be hurt; on the contrary, I believe they'll appreciate this time to go off relatively on their own as a show of 'trust'. You trust your relationship with them is strong enough to withstand a momentary absence and you further trust that their relationship with mutual friends is special enough to lend to that 'perfect weekend' you hoped for them

It's a win-win-win all around. No one has committed any faux pas and other than to ask them how their dinner was and if they had a good time, there shouldn't be any 'guilt' expressed, just happiness in that they are having fun

Rest assured, you are gracious and considerate hosts

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